What Form of Communication do Your Sellers Prefer?

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

 What Form of Communication do Your Sellers Prefer?


Communication is obviously essential during our real estate transactions, in particular between us and our seller clients. This is true before they get an offer, and perhaps more so afterwards.


What form of communication do your sellers prefer?

Do you know?

Do you ask?


I attended a panel of sellers sponsored by Hear it Direct (if you aren’t familiar with Hear it Direct, you can read more about it on their website) while at the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®Convention. The panel of 5 sellers, in various stages of selling (pre-list, listed, and recent sale), shared their thoughts about what they liked and didn’t like about their REALTORS®, how and why they made the selection of agents to represent them (or to go FSBO), among other issues.


Do you prefer email, text or on the phone?One intriguing question was “What type of communication do you prefer from your agent?” Not surprisingly the answers were varied.


One seller said they did not care, and their agent could call anytime day or night. One said any form was fine but they did not want to get calls late at night unless it was essential and that email would be better. Another seller was adamant that they wanted to talk with their agent on the phone and that texting was a “no no”.


In contrast another claimed they did NOT want to talk on the phone and only wanted their agent’s communication via email, or text.


Interestingly no one said they wanted the communication from their listing agent face-to-face!


And 2 were very specific about NOT liking pop-bys...please, only after a  phone call!


What form of communication do YOU prefer - email, text or on the phone?My takeaway, which was not an eye opener, was that it remains important to ask about the preferred method of communication. And sometimes we might make assumptions about the preferred communication that could be wrong. I do tend to ask my clients and find there are often distinct preferences, especially for email.


A member of the REALTOR® audience, in the mastermind session that followed, raised the question of whether we should change our preferred mode of communication simply to suit our sellers’ preferences. There was some disagreement on this.


Certainly there are times when a specific method of communicating could be more problematic or perhaps wrong given the nature of the communication – a series of questions, a detailed response to inquiries, and so on.


While it’s possible to save text messages to be part of the transaction, clearly email makes creating a paper trail and documentation for the file much easier than a phone call (but that can always be documented in writing or a follow-up email). And certainly there are some sellers’ – rare - who do not use email at all!


So what do you think?


Do you know what your sellers’ preferred method of communication from you is?

Do you ask?

And how do you handle it if your preferred method conflicts with your sellers?



Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Thomas Elrod 10/08/2014 04:33 AM
  2. Gina and RJ Hackworth 10/08/2014 06:14 AM
  3. Lenn Harley 10/09/2014 01:56 AM
  4. Ginger Harper 06/06/2015 12:09 AM
  5. Winston Heverly 06/18/2015 02:20 PM
ActiveRain Community
California San Diego County Carlsbad
Certified Residential Specialists
SAN DIEGO Real Estate Agents & Loan Officers
Advice for Sellers
San Diego Realtors®
text messaging
seller communication

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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jim - great points. It is NOT just about our business but communication in general

Tammy - makes sense to me. What I find interesting sometimes is that a seller or buyer will say they prefer X but then they don't always respond consistently

Richard and Beth - bet you get a range of answers!

Dan - it was a mix of generations but there were surprises. I do not know the exact ages but the person who appeared the youngest wanted the phone calls not text messsages. One of the other more senior sellers wanted only text and email and did NOT want to talk on the phone. Again I think this demonstrates the importance of chekcing rather than assuming based on what we know or think about the generations

Sheri - among other improtant things your said "Communicating with the seller is one of the most important tasks we have" I SO agree


Oct 09, 2014 03:15 AM #88
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

My customers almost always seem to like the email form.  And even when I use email I follow up with a phone call just to make sure there are no information gaps.  Still, I ask and use their preferred method, when possible.

Oct 09, 2014 03:36 AM #89
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I typically ask any client I am working with how they would like to communicate with me. Most have said texting or email, while very few say they would actually like to talk over the phone. I communicate however they want.

Oct 09, 2014 06:16 AM #90
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Jeff Dowler CRS   After 38 years in the business I never thougt I'd have to learn to text - now #1

Oct 09, 2014 07:13 AM #91
Nancy Riley
Bradley Real Estate - Tiburon, CA

Having everything factual in writing is best. I prefer to confirm phone conversations by email, and confirm meetings arranged by email with a phone call before the meeting. I have had occasions where an email was not answered, and I had to make a phone call to check if they received it.

Oct 09, 2014 07:14 AM #92
Paddy Deighan JD PhD
TimeshareLawyers.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

interestig results...i myself prefer email....no texts or incessant phone calls..face to face when there is something to see

Oct 09, 2014 02:49 PM #93
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I always ask each Buyer and Seller how they prefer to communicate! Age determines many of their preferences!

Oct 09, 2014 05:30 PM #94
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

One of the first questions I ask is "how can I get a hold of you?" I'll call, text, or email as they prefer and depending on what needs to be shared.  Whatever the client wants, they get.

Oct 10, 2014 01:34 AM #95
Carrie Sampron
Home Smart Realty Group - Highlands Ranch, CO
ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R

I like to let them take the lea d and they will show you what they prefer.

Oct 10, 2014 11:27 AM #96
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Jeff, it's a question that we have to ask and it is pretty much a mixed bag with texting increasing in use.

Oct 10, 2014 01:19 PM #97
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Lyn - well email and texting have certainly changed the boundaries of appropriateness as far as time of day is concerned. Email is good for sending any time of day but if you really need to reach someone it's not always the best. But I suppose that depends on the person

Karen - I'd say you have all the bases covered!

David - true. One just has to be careful are replying and forwarding where there are email threads. But its great for a paper trail


Oct 12, 2014 09:05 AM #98
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Obviously a lot of comments here!  Without reading all of them I'd have to agree with the feedback. It depends!  I wouldn't want someone "popping by" my house either.  There are a lot of folks that work from home so this is an intrusion.  Asking what form of communication they prefer is key!

Oct 13, 2014 02:10 PM #99
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Jeff, the only way to know their preferred method is to ask, never assume. However, as you pointed out, some times time is of the essence and phone call must be made, or it needs to be documented and an email is the best method.

Oct 14, 2014 04:13 AM #100
Diane Beaumont
Benchmark Mortgage - Woodland Park, CO
USDA,FHA,Jumbo,VA Woodland Park, CO Mortgage

An excellent blog post. I will now start asking my clients.

Oct 14, 2014 05:33 AM #101
Aaron Jay
City of Trees Realty - Chico, CA
-Keepin' it Real...Estate!-

I always ask, but have come to realize that many don't even know what they want.  I usually start by what they have said, and then follow their lead.  I have found that most want to text, and esign. Good topic.

Oct 14, 2014 09:42 AM #102
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Good idea.  I like e-mail as I am a little hard of hearing and you document what you say.  But you have to give the client what they want.

Oct 15, 2014 05:33 AM #103
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

I always ask. Usually it's a combination of phone and email. .

Oct 15, 2014 03:06 PM #104
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I always ask, but then some items can really only be transmitted via email. Regardless of what they ask for, I will always "back up" that communication with an email that's saved permanently in my files.

Oct 23, 2014 04:09 AM #105
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

I laugh. I agree with a comment above, it isn't about us but about our clients. I always have this conversation as I want my clients to feel as comfortable as possible. 

Oct 25, 2014 09:02 AM #106
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

Active Rain has done a great job in bringing out the best potential in all of their members blogs like this one.

Mar 24, 2015 08:09 AM #107
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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